The Need for Play
Children and young people have disproportionately suffered due to COVID-19 restrictions. At the beginning of the spring lockdown, 83% of young people surveyed by Young Minds said that the pandemic had made their mental health worse. There is always play deprivation across London, but it has been made much worse by COVID-19. We know that access to play can improve children's and young people’s psychological well-being, as well as their physical health, and their development. Play is so important that Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that all children have the right to play.
Now, with another lockdown underway, families face an uncertain Christmas, many in overcrowded homes without space for, or the extra money to spend on play. It is possible this will further impact the mental and physical health of children living under these conditions.
A Lifeline for Families
In response to the first lockdown, London Play created and distributed 2,000 Emergency Play Parcels during the summer. These were handed out through Adventure Playgrounds, food banks, and other crisis centres. At the heart of the parcel was a pack of ‘Play 52’, cards designed by London Play. Each card featured an idea for play at home that could be replicated with the other props and toys included in the parcel.
The feedback from the 2,000 parcels we delivered in the first wave was extremely positive, the boxes were a “lifeline for families” according to the Islington Tribune. But the demand was also great and more were requested by the distributors.
Your Chance to Help
Following the summer distribution, we will design and create new winter-themed sets of cards that will be given out to London families ahead of the Christmas season. Funding will cover design, manufacture, and oversight of distribution for 500 further Emergency Play Parcels, bringing joy to the winter lockdown.
Play52 cards are unique in their design. There is nothing like this anywhere that we know of: A pocketful of play that opens children’s imaginations and creates quality family time for free.
With your support, we can bring hours of fun and endless play to 500 families in London at a time when they need it most.